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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Managing clinical trials

Barbara Farrell1*, Sara Kenyon2 and Haleema Shakur3

Author Affiliations

1 National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit CTU, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

2 School of Health and Population Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

3 Clinical Trials Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

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Trials 2010, 11:78  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-11-78

Published: 13 July 2010

Abstract

Managing clinical trials, of whatever size and complexity, requires efficient trial management. Trials fail because tried and tested systems handed down through apprenticeships have not been documented, evaluated or published to guide new trialists starting out in this important field. For the past three decades, trialists have invented and reinvented the trial management wheel. We suggest that to improve the successful, timely delivery of important clinical trials for patient benefit, it is time to produce standard trial management guidelines and develop robust methods of evaluation.